So a couple of weeks ago around Shrove Tuesday, I was perusing Instagram as you do, and I kept getting visually slapped in the face by sweet things. Pancakes, cookies, fudge, MORE PANCAKES. Gawd.
I’ve never been a huge dessert fan but since I’ve stepped into the realm of little scary white pills my appetite had kicked up a notch. And because I’ve also kicked up my exercise a notch (or two, lets be honest) I’m totally embracing it. Because really, hunger is miserable. Yay, puddings!!
The need I’ve discovered to inhale a large packet of Haribo each 48 hours isn’t ideal, but that aside I’ve been sticking to larger portions and the odd sweet treat. I’ve put on 5lbs in weight and am kidding myself that’s muscle, plus I will not go near the scales again for a while.
There’s been one craving that I haven’t been able to shake for a while. And that is the craving for cookies: proper, gooey American cookies. I usually find them a bit too teeth achingly sweet and I have always been a cake person. But yet, but yet. My mouth has been watering for a cookie and a cup of tea. (And a pancake, obvs). Damn you, Instagram!
So Instagram let me to investigating plenty of cookie recipes. When I embarked on this quest I didn’t want to go down the double chocolate rout, I fancied a bit of refinement. And this is what I came up with. Ladies and gentleman, I present you with… Salted Caramel Cookies. Oh yeah.
Less calorific than a bag of Haribo. Maybe.
Sidenote: I’d told Elfie all about the fun we were going to have baking cookies and thought it would be such a great rainy afternoon activity for a 2.5 year old; I even put her in her new Polarn O. Pyret cupcake tshirt. However, I learned you should never underestimate the tantrum a toddler will have when you won’t let her stir boiling hot caramel. But she will get her own back when you find her face-down munching on the bowl of cookie dough.
- The Caramel
- 75g unsalted butter (best quality)
- 50g light brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 75 ml double cream
- 3 tsp sea salt (I use Maldon)
- The Cookies
- 120g salted butter, melted
- 75g light brown sugar
- 75g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 240g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50g chocolate chips
- Start by making the caramel. Melt together the butter, sugar and syrup and let simmer and bubble at a medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring all the while.
- Add cream and the sea salt and stir again for a couple of minutes. Pour into a shallow tuppaware container and line with greaseproof paper if you’re planning on letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Now time for the cookie dough! Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Beat together the butter and sugars until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and the egg, and mix well.
- Mix together the flour and bicarb of soda, then use a spoon to add to the mixture, stirring until it comes together into a dough. If you are using a wet caramel, add ⅔ of this now now along with a couple of extra tablespoons of flour as it will make it a bit wetter. If you’re using chunks of caramel you don’t need to add any extra flour (the leftover caramel is AMAZING on vanilla ice cream).
- Add the chocolate pieces.
- Scoop onto a lined baking tray: I use an icecream scoop for this and fill it by ⅔ before depositing on the tray.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes. Mine take approximately 12 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper, and divide the mixture into golf-ball sized rounds, spacing them well apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden, but not browned.
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt if using, and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, before moving to a wire rack to cool completely – or scoffing immediately.